Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Benefits of Swimming: A Full Body Exercise

When it comes to staying in shape swimming is one of the top exercises you can do to best serve your entire body. The movements work out your whole figure with little impact on the joints or spine. During off-summer seasons, you can easily find an indoor pool to keep up a swimming routine throughout the colder months. Organizations work to make swimming programs less expensive because they understand the benefits. Swimming is great exercise for young and old alike, and in addition to getting a good workout, it can be a lot of fun.

In any body of water, the resistance is 12 times higher than in air, meaning you’re developing muscle tone in all the main parts of your body. Your arms, legs, back, and core muscles all get a great workout while swimming. While improving muscle tone, the body is also building up bone mass, which begins to decline as you age.

Cardiovascular health is also improved with swimming, as is flexibility. Inflammation is reduced which can help to prevent atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arterial wall. Although the entire body benefits from working out, the spine, bones, and shoulders greatly benefit from it in various ways as a general fitness routine.

Beyond muscle, bone mass, and cardiovascular health, swimming can help to reduce back and neck pain from issues such as pinched nerves, herniated discs, and bone spurs. While the muscles in the body get stronger from swimming, they help to better support the spinal column and neck. This helps to prevent pain in those areas.

Another added bonus–swimming is great for mental health. Doing repetitive laps can be extremely relaxing, even when your body is working hard. Many people find the water calming and, as they work out the stress of the day, it can literally seem to disappear. The body releases endorphins (naturally occurring hormones) during exercise, that when released block pain and increase a feeling of pleasure. Endorphins are often referred to as a natural high. This may also be a reason swimming helps to lower depression.

Here at Hammill Medical, we understand the many benefits of swimming and believe that working out can lead to a healthier lifestyle overall. For over 60 years we have been a leading manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices, and we understand that a high quality of life translates to a happy life.

We work from concept through design and into the manufacturing process to ensure high-quality products at an affordable price. We offer orthopedic implants, spinal implants, surgical instruments, prototype manufacturing and product development. We invite you to learn more by reading our blog, following us on Twitter, and connecting with us on LinkedIn to stay up to date. Further questions? We can help. Contact us today.

A Virtual Tour of Implant Medical Device Manufacturing

Here at Hammill Medical, we are a family-owned-and-operated company that manufactures implants, surgical instruments, and medical devices. However, we do more than just manufacture – we help to develop groundbreaking components with our customers, from the initial design through to affordable, high-quality final production runs.

Distilling information through funnels of writing while searching for the topics you need to learn personally to grow your company physically can be a daunting task. Some products, processes, and capabilities simply need more than that.

As the internet grows and evolves, we’ve found one of the best ways to provide information about our industry and processes is through our company videos. Utilizing tools like YouTube allows us to share our content immediately, and allows our customers to access it whenever and wherever you choose.

Enter our videos. Sure, it’s nice to be able to tell you about what we do, but it’s even better to show you what we do. Today, feel free to take a look inside. Our profile video highlights what we do, our team and process, our practices, FDA approval, and much more. It is a truly comprehensive overview of what we do here at Hammill, highlighting our variety of capabilities that include:

Should you like to discuss a project or other company needs with us at Hammill Medical, please reach out to us through our contact form, and one of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible. You can also stay up to date with the goings-on at Hammill by connecting with us on LinkedIn, following us on Twitter, or checking out the latest news here on our blog. Our business is always evolving, so keeping up with us will keep you abreast of the latest developments, new products, and much more!

Your Electronics really are a Pain in the Neck!

Text Neck Image Nov. 2015We love our phones. It’s a bit of an epidemic how connected and involved we are with our
electronic devices. It is somewhat amazing how this relatively new technology has changed so many aspects of our daily lives. The downside of always being connected and involved is that the use of the technology is also causing bodily changes.

If you haven’t already heard, there is a condition called ‘text neck’. This digital age malady is the result of leaning over to read and text on your cellphone and the changes it causes in posture. We all do it. The problem is that this bad posture puts excessive pressure on the upper spine, up to 60 lb. of extra pressure, according to research performed by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine and author of Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine.

Text neck happens because of the hours that people spend looking at their phones. It could lead to early wear and tear on the spine which could then lead to degenerative disk disease, bone spurs causing pinched nerves, and intense pain. For some conditions, surgery may be the only option to correct the damage. Poor posture has also been linked to other issues such as reduced lung capacity, headaches, neurological disorders, heart disease, and depression.

The experts offer some suggestions to combat the effects of text neck on the spine, but it takes a conscious effort to stop from bending the head each time the phone beeps. To avoid pain, Dr. Hansraj suggests that users look at their phones with a ‘neutral spine’ using their eyes to look downward and not the heads. Changing the angle of the head significantly reduces the weight placed on the spine. A 15-deg angle produces about 27 lb. of weight, a 30-deg angle adds 40 lb., a 45-deg angle is 49 lb., and a 60-deg angle is 60 lb. of weight on the spine.

Exercising you head by moving it from left to right several times, rolling shoulders up and down, and stretching the neck helps relax neck muscles and shoulders preventing the strain on the spine. Take a walk (without the phone!) so that you are not stuck in one position for too long.

It’s a reality that we all need to be aware of and make a conscientious effort to use our phones and tablets differently to avoid future spinal problems. This is especially true of children and teens who are using devices from a very early age. Improving posture may prevent spinal problems and future spine care.

For more information on spine-related medical issues follow us on or Twitter and LinkedIn accounts!

Resources:

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365473750/keep-your-head-up-text-neck-can-take-a-toll-on-the-spine

[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3274835/Shocking-X-rays-teenagers-text-neck.html

[3] http://www.orthospinenews.com/text-neck-what-your-phone-is-doing-to-your-spine/

[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-becoming-an-epidemic-and-could-wreck-your-spine/

‘Obesity’ Trends Contribute to the Growing Need for Knee-Replacement Surgery and Hip-Replacement Surgery

surgeryWhen we attended the CCJR (Current Concepts in Joint Replacement) Winter meeting in Orlando in December, 2014, we met some great people and we also learned a lot from the orthopedic surgeons who presented educational sessions at the meeting. But the presentation given by surgeons from Canada really stuck in our minds. It was about obesity trends and how obesity is affecting the outcomes of surgeries all around the world. Obesity has increased the need for hip and knee replacement surgeries, and the numbers are staggering.

Since attending the CCJR Winter meeting, the topic of obesity has been on our minds so much, we decided to do some additional research and to share the information with you on our blog. Here’s what we found:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, 78.6 million people in the U.S. (34.9% of U.S. adults) are obese. Additionally, in all states in the U.S. the prevalence of obesity is above 20%.
  • “Obesity” is defined as having a BMI (“body mass index”) of 30 or higher, according to the CDC.
  • The Harvard School of Public Health website reports, “Excess weight harms health in many ways. It increases the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers, to name just a few, and reduces the life span. Treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions of dollars a year.”
  • Additionally, medical costs associated with the obesity trend are expected to rise. The CDC says the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 and the number has been growing ever since.
  • It’s not just the costs related to obesity that are concerning: The need for knee-replacement and hip-replacement surgery increases as the obesity trend continues to grow. But what’s most concerning is that the risks associated with the surgeries also increase when patients are obese. Surgeons say they’re sometimes uncomfortable performing knee-replacement or hip-replacement surgery on obese patients because of the risks.
  • A medical research study last year reported that total knee replacements in the U.S. more than tripled between 1993 and 2009, and hip replacements doubled during the same time. The study also said the increases paralleled the growing obesity trend in the U.S., with obese patients requiring the surgeries much more often than normal-weight patients.

Technology and Experience Lead to the Highest Quality Medical Implants Available

In the past, we have discussed the extreme importance of quality and technology when it comes to finding a medical implant manufacturer.

It is through this attention to quality and the latest technology that we utilize all equipment and services—CNC grinding, turning, and machining, titanium anodizing, and robotic polishing—to bring the best medical implants to our clients. This is what makes us one of the leading medical implant contract manufacturers in the Midwest.

Specifically, we are experienced at (and FDA registered for) manufacturing a variety of medical implants. Let’s take a closer look at the types of implants we manufacture.

Spinal Implants

Spinal implantsSpinal implants are an ever-growing market within the medical device industry, and the technology used to create these implants and their components is constantly evolving and as impressive as ever. We have extensive experience providing these spinal implant components for all segments of the spinal market:

 

  • Fusion Systems
  • Pedicle Screws
  • Cervical Screws
  • Motion Preservation Systems
  • Lumbar & Cervical Plates
  • Cross Connectors
  • Corpectomy Devices (Cages)
  • Peek spacers
  • Cannulated Screws
  • Implantable Disks
  • Implant Trials

The spinal implant market is projected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021[1], and we expect our research, development, experience, and expertise to be a big part of it.

Orthopedic Implants

Orthopedic implantAt Hammill, we are qualified and experienced in manufacturing the highest quality orthopedic implants in the industry. Our medical manufacturing and engineering resources allow us to offer our clients the following orthopedic implant systems:

 

  • Hip Systems
  • Trauma Hip Systems
  • Primary & Revision Femoral Systems
  • Bone Plates
  • Cortical Screws
  • Compression Screws

As the orthopedic market is another widely growing field, we continue to provide the latest technological advancements. Furthermore, we continue to grow and lead the way in implant manufacturing technology, and we will look to expand to other areas, including extremity implants—i.e. toes, ankles, fingers, etc.

Our team of industry-leading experts performs in-house assemblies, laser welding, laser identification, high-energy tumbling, screw assembly, media blasting, and in-house tooling, fixturing, & gaging. Our capabilities include up to 13-axis Swiss-type CNC turning, 6-axis Willimen CNC milling/turning, and up to 30,000 rpm machining capabilities.

In short, we are an ISO-certified medical instrument manufacturer that delivers the best medical implants through the most advanced technology available.

 

 

[1] http://www.mrg.net/News-and-Events/Press-Releases/US-Markets-for-Spinal-Implants-081213.aspx

A Look At The FDA’S Design Control Regulations

Since the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had strict regulations for the design of Quality Management System (QMS). Design Control refers to the design of devices, along with processes and changes to existing designs and processes.

The design control requirements of the FDA’s regulations are enforced upon the design of Class II and III medical devices, along with some Class I devices, according to BoneZonePub. As the publication notes, this design control regulation “gives manufacturers just enough rope to hang themselves.” Given the different risks and complexities that come with various medical devices, companies are given the responsibility of deciding the type of design control system and the detailed implementation instructions used for their devices.

BoneZonePub claims that the following get a great deal of attention during inspection:

  • “Design and development planning versus what information ends up in the design history file
  • Identifying design inputs and then the essential outputs
  • Verification work that could eventually end up in the design history file as a formal acceptance activity
  • Validating the design from a standpoint of the intended use and user needs
  • Controlling design changes before and after commercialization
  • Reviewing design results versus the original design plan
  • Transferring the design to production while realizing the value of concurrent engineering
  • Compiling a Design History File as a basis for the Device Master Record”

Medical manufacturers take on tremendous responsibility in creating medical devices. The FDA’s Design Control regulations are one of the efforts made to ensure that medical products are of the best quality.

Hammill Medical: The Story Continues

We’ve joined the digital revolution and with this post have launched our monthly blog posts that we hope will help to facilitate a digital dialogue with our customers, suppliers, and industry compatriots.  In the months ahead, we will be posting blog articles about industry news of interest, information about manufacturing in the U.S. and also updates about our company and products.  We look forward to you being part of this conversation and hope you will feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts.

Before we begin, we thought we’d give you an overview of who we are, where we came from and where we hope to go.

The Hammill story began in 1955 when it was founded by Ed Hammill.  Ever since Ed founded the company it has remained family owned and operated, something each generation has taken pride in and worked to continually improve on our products and services.  Since the 1970’s Hammill Medical has been fabricating orthopedic implants, spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices. In fact, we recently celebrated the manufacturing of our 500,000th orthopedic knee implant.

We are very meticulous about quality processes to ensure that the customer receives a part that’s manufactured to their requirements and specifications and that it adheres to all the FDA requirements and follows the ISO 13485 guidelines.

We are committed to employee education and encouraging young people to learn about our manufacturing processes through our apprentice program.  Together with the state of Ohio and Owens Community College we typically have between 35 and 40 students who are going through the apprentice program.  These students come away from the program with the equivalent to a 2-year college degree and a journeyman’s card which establishes high-level skills as a machinist.

Hammill Medical is able to bring new products to market quickly and on budget with the help of our in-house tooling and gage design and manufacturing.

So, this is how we got our start and where we are currently.  We look forward to telling you about where we are going in future blogs and sharing stories about manufacturing innovations, ideas, and current practices that we think will be of interest to you.  As well, be sure to check in with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  Stop by next month for our next post.